Trolling Memory Bank for Town Meeting Memories
Town Meetings stand the test of time.
In a world where things are constantly changing, Town Meetings have stayed relatively the same since the town fathers came up with the idea to have the villages run by its citizens.
Meetings can sometimes have a time warp feeling to them.
As years go by, there are still disputes about dogs, chicken, traffic and the budget.
Just a few months ago, I was sitting in a selectmen’s meeting and realized that the subject that was being discussed was the same topic I remember the board discussing 10 years before.
Sure the names and faces changes, but I’ve found that the subject matter usually sounds very familiar, but there are exceptions to the rules.
Reaching back into the memory bank, I remembered a couple of meeting stories that have stood the test of time.
One night, a fire chief was taking a beating at a meeting. His budget was being slashed left and right. After a while, the tide turned. People started to turn against the governing board. The fire chief had been at the job for years and had fallen into the beloved category.
After his department's positions were cut, the last item was a new ladder truck that could reach a three-story building. The town had said no to the new truck.
But the people were tired of seeing their fire chief on the block. Overwhelmingly, the fire chief got his truck.
But there were two problems: One, there were no three-story buildings in the town. Second, the truck was too big for the fire station. It didn't fit inside the station.
In another story, the town was having trouble with its location for a new police station. Basically, nobody wanted it in his or her neighborhood. They didn’t want police cars flying up and down their streets.
Every week, the police chief would go in front of the board with a location, and the neighbors would show up to voice their opposition. This went on for a while.
Finally, one of the residents came up with a solution. “Why don’t we put it on wheels? Then it can be in every neighborhood.”
They ended up building the police station next to a pizza place and a doughnut shop.
I would have voted for the police station on wheels.